This is the story of the strangest and possibly worst customer experience I've ever had.
The name is Eeko, and the game is a morning of nonsense on vacation.
My boyfriend and I went on vacation in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the end of June 2015. We brought some coffee beans as gifts to the family members we were visiting, but for one of my aunts, we forgot to bring the beans from our hotel room. We had no way to get them to her at his point because we were leaving the next day to White Rock. I'd heard of courier services becoming a thing in large metropolises, so I looked up and found the nearest one - Eeko Couriers Inc. Their office happened to be a block away, but we phoned first to ask for a pick up.
That didn't work because all of their lines were busy, so we decided to walk over to their office and leave the parcel with them. Their address took us to a single city block that we walked around twice in search of their name, so we finally tried phoning them again. Someone picked up, and when my boyfriend asked for directions, the person just repeated the address and hung up. That was strike one against the company - not even listening to what we needed, and acting as if they wanted to get rid of us.
We spotted a door with a set of elevators inside that looked like they might lead to offices. Inside was a list of businesses, and Eeko was located on the fourth floor, so we took the elevator up there. There was a reception area with no receptionist, but after ringing the bell a few times, someone walked out of the cubicles. When we mentioned Eeko, she nodded as if she understood what we had just been through and said they had moved to the basement. (So what was she doing up there? Cleaning up?)
The elevator did not go to the basement, so we returned to the ground floor and tried the stairs. The door was locked - and this was kind of a strike two because in general, fire escape stairs shouldn't have locked doors on the GROUND floor. The floor that's generally most favourable to escaping flames, no? There was a coffee shop opposite the stairs on the other side of the elevators, so we asked the barista if she knew of Eeko. She did, and had a key ready to unlock the door (which speaks to some bizarre security arrangement, I suppose).
Elevator to the basement. Stepped out, saw a guy in a room ahead on a computer. Unmarked doors and no signs. Stepped inside to see two other guys similarly at work on computers. The middle one looked up, so I went over to him and handed him my phone with my typed note on it stating that we wanted to drop off a parcel for delivery downtown. This seemed to surprise him, and he stared up at us before saying something. My good boyfriend clarified that I'm Deaf, at which he simply stared at me. When I gestured for him to continue typing on the phone, he managed to type out "you want to send the parcel from here?"
I nodded yes. That seemed obvious enough. But he jerked his head back as if that was a novel idea. Maybe it WAS the first time anyone had dropped off at the office, but did that really not occur to them as a potential business service? Their website said nothing about this being a prohibited way to send a parcel, after all. Wouldn't we treat them the same as we would UPS, Purolator, or Canada Post - just quicker and closer? This was the part where I started to feel like I was purposefully being made to believe I'm crazy despite all the rational steps I was taking to use their courier service.
He finally asked for the address, which I gave. He looked it up, and then started speaking again. Once again my boyfriend reminded him that speaking wasn't the best way to communicate with me, which made the guy simply stare at HIM instead (this is common - hearing people love to accuse friends and partners of Deaf people of not being helpful by doing something they're not trained or certified or even personally permitted by that Deaf person to do, called interpreting). Let's call that strike three - inability to adapt to diverse customers' needs. I took my phone back and asked him if he needed any other information from me.
This was the beginning of a very tedious back-and-forth as he was very slow to type, and did not seem to understand the voice dictation function when I offered that to him. Meanwhile, the other two guys had basically stopped their work and were watching us as if it was equally fascinating to them that we were standing in their space wanting to send a parcel. Finally we got to the point where he asked for an alternative address since my aunt lived in an apartment. I told him we were from out of town, and he shook his head and said if they couldn't deliver it, they couldn't keep the parcel either and try again.
Exasperated, I left with the coffee and no way to get it to my aunt. To me, it was bizarre that we couldn't even get in touch with the courier service first, and then couldn't even find their address, and their customer service was truly in the toilet both over the phone and in person. Even if they had recently moved from fourth floor to basement, there was not a single warning of this fact for any potential visitors. And as soon as we walked into their office, we felt like we were being accused of doing something wrong. During the entire interaction, the two other employees stared at us as if worried we were about to pull out guns (and if they were legitimately wondering that... well, I can't even begin). It was just downright uncomfortable and unpleasant.
This isn't to say Eeko deserves to lose all their business. They certainly can improve and must improve in the areas mentioned above if they don't want me writing about them like this. It was just a hilariously unfortunate experience all around.
What experiences with a business have left you with a bad taste in the mouth?